Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Questionable Jones No. 9

We all know Raiders is just a mess of a movie, right? It needs a lot of changes before audiences will want to watch it.

Question: "How would you change Raiders itself?"

Scott's Answer: I hate to give such a vague answer but I'd trim it by five to ten minutes. I feel it drags a little at times, but only a little, and I don't feel that way about Doom or Crusade.

Andrew's Answer: Huh. Hmm. I can't think of anything, really. Hmm. Ok, how's this. I would change the submarine to a destroyer so people would stop saying Jones would drown. That's really all that comes to mind.

Looks like we need some help with this one!

23 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

In my view, Raiders was great because it came out un-hyped and was, essentially, a great Saturday morning matinee feature with superb effects made possible by the technology of the time. Harrison Ford was perfectly cast. Even the cliches were great. My favorite scene? The one where the workers were singing and working in the desert while the sun came up. I can't thing of anything to change it.

K said...

I agree with Andrew. It bothers me that in a nearly perfect movie they submerge the submarine, leaving Jones outside and yet he shows up when it docks.

This could have been taken care of without even going to the destroyer option. Germany wasn't at war, the submarine could have stayed on the surface. That type of sub travels far faster on the surface using it's diesel engines so why submerge at all?

Something else bothers me about the movie though. When Marian is trapped inside the flying wing, the writers give her something to do by machine gunning about 10 defenseless Nazis who happen to drive up in a truck. I agree that the head Nazis were murderous thugs who had tried to kill them more than once, but the rest were just following orders. I just wonder how Rolf or Dieter's poor mutter feels about this back in Munchen?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Interestingly, that's one of the most memorable images in the film. That's the first thing I think of when I think of the film as well.

AndrewPrice said...

K, What bothers me with the sub scene is that it's so obvious that it can't happen the way they do it and it's so unnecessary. As you say, they could just ride atop the waves and the issue goes away. It just takes a single word change in the script and that mistake doesn't happen. I find moments like that frustrating, especially in a film that is otherwise so well put together.

Good point about Marian. While we've been trained to believe that all Germans were Nazis and thus all were evil, that wasn't really the case and most German soldiers were drafted. So what she's really doing is killing a truckload of conscripts who've done nothing. And they aren't even at war yet.

I wonder if Spielberg would have done the same thing if they were commies instead of Nazis or if he would have seen that as "too murderous for a hero."

K said...

Totally OT: If you intend to see the new Star Trek movie, DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK:

Mega Spoilers

OTOH, if you don't care about spoilers it's pretty hilarious. Remember, JJ Abrams has been given the new Star Warz movie. Woot!

shawn said...

Andrew beat me to it.

As a side note: I bought the comic adaptation at the time, from Marvel I believe, and in it they had Indy lash himself to the periscope with his whip and the submarine never went deeper than periscope depth.

Anonymous said...

The great movies have an impact on us that is bigger than just the sum of their parts.I saw Raiders on the big screen when I was 16 years old.I took a girl that I had had a crush on for a long time and everything went well. I wouldn't change a damn thing,brother.
As far as the soldiers Marian machine gunned,I always assumed they were coming to see what the trouble was (if I recall the fire had started and was smoking) and that once they got there they would help the ones that were fighting Jones. To me it was kind of like Han firing first. Had to be done. I noticed the submarine scene at the time,but I just figured they never went below periscope depth.
GypsyTyger

ScottDS said...

Re; the sub ride, I believe there was a deleted scene that may or may not have explained this.

(Scroll to the last entry.)

ScottDS said...

K -

Not to go too off-topic but I saw that Trek piece yesterday. Hilarious (and oh so true).

My friends and I saw Into Darkness on Sunday - you'll have to wait til the fall for me and/or Andrew to review it but it won't be a positive one.

BIG MO said...

Other than the sub, the only thing that bothered me was the desert chase. They're in the desert and suddenly they're next to a deep canyon -- convenient for Indy to sideswipe a German car of the cliff -- and suddenly they're back in a desert. Just a little more camera work to show the change of setting would have explained this (or avoided lifting the curtain however briefly). It's like the T-Rex attack in Jurassic Park - It seems like the T-Rex strides onto the road but then pushes our heroes off the road down a cliff in the same spot he came out. Better camera work/planning or even wide shots could have solved these annoying problems.

Otherwise... I got nuthin.

BIG MO said...

I remember reading the novelization of Raiders, which had Indy hanging on to the periscope while the U-boat traveled at periscope depth. Makes perfect sense.

tryanmax said...

This must be a trick question. Raiders is undoubtedly one of a handful of perfect films. Even the U-boat thing slips right by me.

As for Marion gunning down the Nazis, it's like I tell my 3-yr-old when he noses into his older sister's shenanigans: when you go looking for trouble, you're gonna find it.

Ty in TX said...

Indy lashing himself to the periscope is in the novelization too.

Had a big argument with a family member about this. It makes perfect sense. U-boats and all subs back then were diesel powered and saved their electric batteries for only those times they had to submerge to attack or evade. Knowing this, Indy knew he would be just fine.

Family member then brought up exposure, I said it only took 2-3 days, he'd be fine.

rlaWTX said...

Honestly, I don't care much for the actress that plays Marian. So, they could recast her (with whom I have no idea). Otherwise, why bother messing with a good thing?

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, That might work. Still, I wish they have just made that one little change.

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, This is a hard question because this movie really is very well done and, as you note, it's much bigger than the sum of its parts.

I can overlook the submarine thing, but it does bother me. To me, it stands out precisely because the rest of the movie is so solid.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That's a heck of a model! Very impressive.

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, I kind of knew the cliff wasn't there as well, but that one never bothered me personally. I think it helps that they do go from the desert desert to a more rocky and hilly terrain before that scene.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, LOL! I suspect you would be more sympathetic if your daughter machine gunned your 3-year old. ;P

In all seriousness, this was one of the hardest questions we came up with precisely because this film is so nearly perfect. How rare is that?!

AndrewPrice said...

Ty, I actually assumed it only took a few hours. They're basically going from Egypt to near-Egypt.

And having never read the novelization, I assumed he climbed inside the tower and that they had a double hatch.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I never liked her as an actress, but I was ok with her in this film.

ScottDS said...

Andrew and rla -

I believe there's footage on the DVD of Sean Young screen testing as Marion when Tom Selleck was expected to play Indy.

At least Karen Allen hasn't become a total whackjob!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I don't think Young would have been an improvement.

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